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Wales and the French Revolution Series
(Welsh Poems)

On the great rebellion in France when King Louis XVI and his queen were beheaded (selection)

by Edward Lewis (1719–1803)

Location: Welsh Poetry of the French Revolution 1789–1805, rhif / no. 4

SCROLL DOWN FOR ENGLISH TRANSLATION


Diddymu pob osodiad hen;
Hiloedd y Ffrancod benben:
Ni fu rhwng elynion erio’d
Mewn byd y fath anghydfod.
Effaith athrawiaeth angall
Fod un ogyfuwch â’r llall;
Gwell fod mewn byd, er lles pob dyn,
Rhagor rhwng beger a brenin.
Bydd dyn i arall yn ufudd
Is i law onis y bydd?
...
Ni wnaeth Duw, fenyw erio’d,
â dyn y fath cyfamod,
Fod i ddynion, wrth eu blys,
Gwneuthur yn ôl eu gwyllys:
Lladd holl goreuon y wlad
Ac fal cŵn yn yfed eu gwa’d;
Crogi a herlid llawer sant
O’u gwlad a dwyn eu meddiant;
Amharchu Duw, dibrisio dyn,
A thorri ben eu brenin.
...
Irad yw gweled y brenin
A’i ben dan draed pob rhyw ddyn.
Ordeiniodd Duw, yr hwn a’i gwnaeth,
Eu byd, fod dan lywodraeth:
Ni fu, ac ni ddichon fod,
Un gwlad heb rhyw awdurdod.
Dichon y byd dychmygwir all
Sefyll ar sylfaen arall?
Rhaid bod rhai mewn braint a bri
Ar eraill i reoli,
Fal y gellir parchu’r da
A chosbi’r dynion gwaetha’;
Cadw’r sawl anhywaith sydd
Yn llonydd yn eu llefydd,
Er mwyn cynnal ym mhob gwlad
Heddwch a brawdol gariad.
Heb rhain, Duw ŵyr, ni ddichon fod
Mewn byd, on’d annibendod:
Brad, twyll, a drygau pob maeth,
Rhyfyg ac afreolaeth.
...
Ymswyn! O! ymswyn y dyn
Gwneuthur dy Dduw’n dy elyn!
Na ddyro laswag i’r cythraul
Mogel, ddyn, magl y diawl.
Pa lesâd i ddyn, os ennill
Y byd, ei enaid os cyll?
Meddwl mor ofnadwy ydyw
Gwadu dy frenin a’th Dduw
...
Cymer, Duw annwyl, ein gwlad
A’n brenin dan dy nodded,
Ac na ad i’r bobl ynfyd,
Fal pla, i ddifa’r holl fyd.
Od oes rhai yn y wlad hyn,
Bradwyr, ar fedr eu dilyn,
Ymaith â’r llu uffernol,
A byth na deuant yn ôl.

Amen, medd yr awdur.

TRANSLATION
Every ancient tradition is annulled;
the races of the French are head to head:
there has never before been more disagreement in the world
between enemies.
It is the effect of foolish doctrine
which says that one person is as high in status as another;
it is better for the world, and for the benefit of every man,
that there is a distinction between a beggar and a king.
Will a man be obedient to another
if he is not lower than him?
...
God never made such a covenant
with man or woman
that men, according to their desire,
may do as they will:
killing the country’s best people
and drinking their blood like dogs;
hanging and pursuing many a saint
from their country, and stealing their possessions;
disrespecting God, despising man,
and cutting off the head of their king.
...
It is woeful to see the king
with his head under the feet of all sorts of men.
God, who made their world, ordained
that it should be under a government:
there never was, and there can never be
a single country without source authority.
Perhaps the imagined world can
stand on another foundation?
Some people must be in privilege and honour
to rule others,
in order that the good are respected
and that the worst men are punished;
the unruly must be kept
quietly in their places,
in order to maintain peace and brotherly love
in every country.
Without these, God knows, there can
only be disorder in the world:
treason, deceit and all manner of ills,
presumption and chaos.
...
Beware! Oh! man, beware
making an enemy of your God!
Do not give vain advantage to the devil;
avoid, man, the devil’s snare.
What profit is there for a man if he
gains the world and loses his soul?
Consider how awful it is
to deny your king and your God.
...
Take, dear God, our country
and our king under your protection,
and do not allow the madmen,
like a plague, to destroy the whole world.
If there are some traitors in this country
who are about to follow them,
away with the hellish host,
and may they never return.

Amen, says the author.


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